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Bandh in Assam: Tribal body calls state-wide shutdown against BJP government’s bill to grants ST status to ethnic groups

FE Online
Bandh in Assam

Assam bandh on 11th January: Tribal bodies have called for a bandh in Assam on Friday to protest against the BJP government’s move to bring a bill that seeks to grant Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to six ethnic groups. The bandh has been called by the Coordination Committee of the Tribal Organisations of Assam (CCTOA).

The bandh will begin from 5 am and end on Saturday morning. Aditya Khaklary, convenor of CCTOA said that essential services will not be hit during the bandh.

The CCTOA official accused the BJP governments (central and state) of not taking the tribals into confidence before bringing a bill. Aditya said that the BJP was hatching a plot to eliminate the genuine tribals of Assam.

The Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Amendment Bill was tabled in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday. It seeks to accord ST status to six ethnic groups — Koch-Rajbongshis, Tea Tribes/Adivasis, Tai Ahoms, Morans, Motoks and Chutia.

Aditya said that Assam’s tribals will continue their struggle to defeat this move. He said that it is aimed at deriving political mileage in the election season.

Today’s bandh comes close on the heels of a state-wide bandh on Tuesday against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. The bandh was called by All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and supported by more than 100 organisations.

Meanwhile, security across Assam has been beefed by the government in the wake of the strike and continuing protests against the citizenship bill.